Clean power services firm Enviromena have energised their first solar farm in Wales, on Bryngolwg Farm in Rhigos, Aberdare.
Sparking up of the 30-acre plot follows the company’s successful equity flotation of £65million, supporting its goal to boost by 2025 its constructed and operational UK portfolio to over 500MW of solar. Over 80% of that figure is already generating, with another 200MW at various stages of planning consent.
The 8.99 MWp project at Bryngolwg, 20 miles east of Swansea, has capacity to power a nominal 2,500 homes, offsetting around 3,700 tonnes of carbon emissions ever year for the next 40. That’ll take the west Wales plant beyond the Principality’s goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050.
The project is constructed on low grade agricultural land, previously associated with coal mining. Rhigos Community Council supports it. Only twelve months ago, councillors on Rhondda Cynon Taf’s planning committee unanimously gave the farm their permission.
With all existing hedgerows retained, the development introduces extra planting of native bushes and trees in a biodiversity area. Sheep will continue to graze on the site, helping to increase the scheme’s considerable net gain in biodiversity.
Enviromena will manage the farm under a long-term O&M contract, which includes monitoring for performance security, maintenance and landscape management.
Chief operating officer Gary Hales said: “We are pleased to have energised our first project in Wales, safely and on time. The team has designed and constructed a high yielding project which can help to make a difference in achieving Wales’s net zero targets.”
The deal includes the developers funding a solar roof for a village hall run by Rhigos Community Council, cutting power bills and shrinking the rural settlement carbon footprint.
“Supporting the local community is one of our core values”, said Lee Adams, Enviromena’s sales director.
“Our commitment to leave all the communities and places that we touch in better condition than when we arrived begins with constantly evaluating the long-term impacts of all that we do.”
Enviromena has a second solar project on nearby land currently before planners. The company anticipates their decision before March.